Michael Fassbender takes on dual roles to play not one but two androids in this Prometheus sequel.
In the year 2103, a decade after the events of 2012's Prometheus, the crew of colony ship Covenant are woken up from stasis seven years early after their vessel is struck by a solar flare.
While fixing the ship, Tennessee (Danny McBride) receives a seemingly-human transmission from a nearby planet that is as hospitable and closer than their original destination.
Captain Oram (Billy Crudup) orders his crew to go there instead, despite protests from his second in command Daniels (Katherine Waterston), who thinks the new information is too good to be true.
The team - which includes an android Walter (Michael Fassbender) - land and discover an uncharted paradise, that is until they discover the crashed ship from Prometheus, many mutated alien lifeforms and the android David (also Fassbender), who is the only survivor.
The film is certainly gruesome, with many bloody deaths, but these are less effective than in previous Alien outings due to the obviously computer-generated appearance of the alien mutations.
It is also less scary, which is possibly because audiences have seen most of the alien encounters in some form before, so it is difficult to make them original.
Most deaths can be seen coming and some are very stupid indeed.
The introductions needed for each of the Covenant's many crewmembers means that Alien: Covenant takes a while to get going, but once they reach the planet, it doesn't take long for the action to kick off.
The first alien sequence is violent, bloody and shocking, so it is a shame all aren't up to that standard.
Some deaths are so incredibly silly and predictable that there's more of an impulse to laugh than be scared, so it’s a smart move to make Prometheus' android David continue his creepy psychopathic nature, to give the team more adversaries than just the aliens.
Fassbender is fantastic in these dual roles - he plays a very convincing and subtly menacing villain in David, with many exchanges with the more measured and subservient Walter.
While Fassbender steals the show, Waterston is also excellent as the strong female lead, who is exactly like Sigourney Weaver's Ripley in the 1979 original Alien.
She can be emotional, kicks butt when needed and really comes into her own in the last half hour, when the film returns to form after an unimpressive middle section.
Prometheus was a very divisive movie, with many criticising it for the lack of xenomorphs and the scientists’ dumb decisions, and while the follow-up pleases on the first front, Alien: Covenant is just as guilty on the second.
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